Cap Rail Installation!

This week we got the Pot Pie skiff’s new cap rails installed. This job took quite a few steps. arranging a clamp set up on the bow to hold the rail snug to the stem was the biggest challenge next to cold bending these nearly 27 foot long scarphed rails into place.

Upon beginning, We did a dry fit with the bow section, starting with the port side rail. Once our clamp set up was ready, the bottom surface of the rail to be united with the deck was prepped with dolfinite, an all natural bedding compound frequently used in preserving joints of this kind.

Instead of predrilling my counter sunk fastener holes ahead of time, we clamped and drilled as we installed. We did this because I needed to make sure not to hit fasteners running athwartship from the lower rub rail section into the hull bellow the cap rail. predrilling would not have guaranteed this.

We moved aft, starting at the bow. Clamping, predrilling, and fastening ever 6 inches. The process was fairly easy-going, despite the lack of complacency the rail was offering. Stevo and I got the port side all fastened, and moved on to the starboard side.

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Each fastener hole was predrilled with a countersink bit to receive a bung after both rails were securely fastened to Pot Pie’s deck.

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The bungs were cut from the same douglas fir that the cap rails came out of, and installed in every fastener hole with a spot of waterproof wood glue.

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Once all fasteners were bunged, I cut all the bungs flush to the topside and the excess squished out dolfinite on the sides was cleaned up. Using my low angle block plane I carefully faired the outboard sides of the cap rails to the edge of the deck and lower rub rail.

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- Moses Dane

Moses Dane